View Full Version : Everything breaks at once

01-07-2005, 08:57 PM
What a month. Starts in December with the masterboard in my large CNC lathe blowing out. About 20 hours of my time, 10 hours on the cell phone (well, the school pays my overages because they will not let me have a phone in my shop, something about the "shop kids being untrustworthy") $600.00 to figure that out when the repair tech comes in and does everything I did and documented with pics, times, and everything. Probably 3800 to replace. May just junk the big old POS, seems it wants to kill me anyway - heck, moving it in broke my leg, the turrett spins way too fast, the programming is backwards, and it has been one problem after another, and it scares the hell out of the kids whn the turrett indexes (I actually love that ground shaking clunk and thud). Anyone want a 8900 pound boat anchor????????? Will have a decision on Jan 27th.

THEN, my prized Emco F1 trainer mill that blew a control five years back, rebuilt and perfected, new control, and a post procesor that is bomb proof. All but for a little cumbersome thing tht is piddly....Milling an item I had milled about 1000 times before for a production job in the shop. Aluminum ring 3.400 diameter x 1/2 wll thickness. Boring job, the machine starts to step over in the Y axis, I now have a stepped out egg shape. Seems the ball screw unloaded about 20 little balls out the screw end, the set-up student decided NOT to move the vise back that 1/2 inch the set-up sheet, pics, and big red print and engraved line on the table mark out the job an vise loc. $#@! I should have known to check this out!!!!!! he has broken up with his gilfriend this week....... Fixed it, but then the fix also entailed taking apart the entire mcahine all said and done..... The old ball screw coupling to the stepper had a 1 1/4 diamter brass coupler for "dampening", and when i designed this, I used 5-40 cap screws for the clamping - of course the heads stripped out, and of course they wre in about th hardest to reach part of the machine - had to make a special wrench to put them in - long gone and lost by now...... Finally go that out, time to make a new coupling. Got the screw fixed, I now know how to preload and re-load ball screws.....

Got two new CNC Mills - trainer size, but hefty enough to be respectable and real fast anway so tooling used right and speeds an feeds make these work and overcome lack of HP, thought I had the world by the brass ones. The specs call for PII 350 computers and Win 98 SE to drive the machine, of which I have a few extra. Seems they upgraded the machine computer specs to PIV 2.0 Gig and WIN XP Pro. I have three computers coming, but hoped to replace the 350's with these. Right now I have two beautiful machines sitting idle waiting for SOMEBODY else to get the computers in - seems though I have built computers for 12 years and maintained 17 in my shop, I now have to go through some pimply faced fresh from technical school nerd who studied CAD for a 10 hour class but never ran a machine but for a hand drill in dads shop (probably with dads hands on his) to buy me pre sofware-loaded off the shelf computers (yo dude, a DELL!!!!), and he has to do all the software loading and such for the entire school district - passworded us all OUT - speaking about job protection. Passworded all of out but me, for he got the word that I tend to get real ugly when someone touches my computers, and I have big noisey machines and a thousand acres of woods behind my shop, and a real crappy attitude some days - like this month. Showed him the CNC mills, and he asked if they were some new type of table saw....... Probably thinks a mechanical engineer is the one who drives the train and blows the horn.

To top it off. I was working in the shop this evening, figuring out the CNC machines I just bought would never run on my 350's - maybe if I load XP, now have to buy that and wait for "Elwood" to load it on (MY rosie red cheeks I will). Enough of this I figure after three hours of watching Windows 2000 lock up, and the tech at the machine place (who has actually been extremely helpful, sympathetic, and wants this to work for me on the lower units since he wrote the specs, and actually ran the machines protos on 350's) has long since gone home - kind like I should have. well, I finall have enough. Go to wash my hands of the day, and from my shirt pocket falls my beautiful never used but to load drivers off the net and files from other computers this very day - day one in its wonderul life, for it has been the ONLY THING to work right....the little thumb drive falls into the hand sink. Thought I got it in time, but the wet spot in my shirt pocket, and the neat little sloshing noise that the drive makes when I give it a little shake tell me otherwise.

heck, at his point, I was afraid to drive the mile home...... Made it without incident.....at least one thing worked right, but #$%@ I left my cell phone by the machines back at work......

Even the students were nutso this week......

Rolling Rock and Sams, take me away.......

[This message has been edited by spope14 (edited 01-07-2005).]

01-07-2005, 09:18 PM
I thought my bison 4" chuck got whacked, all of a sudden, .005 radial runout. Turned out it was just crap in the threads, and its now around .001.
Hold in there, If the little twirp gives you a problem, rip the HD out and smash it, put your own in there with your own software, and lock him out of it.
I actually had an internship where I was that computer a-hole that locked everyone else out. Wierd walking thru my old elementry school, seeing my old teachers that were still there, begging for me to install games onto their computers or tell em how to get rid of the password. Now that I think about it, I should of. Funny thing was some of those elementry school kids were real good hackers and knew how to disable the passwords !

01-07-2005, 09:41 PM
It's the darnedst thing. The people and country and world want us teachers to be technologically litterate, and to be able to do anything on computers. I am pretty fair on them myself and built all of mine for 12 plus years now, and STILL remember my training on a trash 80, and my fixing 8086's with the 10 meg hard drives - those being MONSTERS.

The world expects us to be able to run these, be able to use them, do quick repairs, and make our students literate in all aspects of technology....BUT....our school districts, and even training sites teach US TEACHERS TO RELY ON EVERYBODY ELSE like little geek twerps to nursemaid us though even the simple tasks. I know many a teacher who will not use school e-mail, school internet, or school computers for anything because they feel untrusted, are afraid and rightfully so that the network geek will lose files of just search and play "I SPY" for th thrills and job security.

We have a pretty severe NET NANNY program that does not lt me go on e-bay -to look for cards for the CNC machine, which I found one at home, offered to take the day off and await the bidding. No they said. get me E-Bay, I replied. No. Could have got a brandy nudie card for $395.00, but alas, was not home. My last bid was $390.00. I also tried to get on this site from school because I use it for some resources in the archives. NFW. I had to submit three forms and examples. My reply on the form - HOW DO I PROVIDE THREE EXAMPLES FROM THE SITE IF I CAN'T GET ON!!!!!!! (Yes, I capped it). I now hav HSM. Can't get yahoo, can't get my city e-mail acount (after all I am the Mayor of the city, seems I should get my acount. least i take one to three hours a week off to get forms - which IS approved, but would not need to be if I had my freaking e-mail account and ten minutes of my lunch time) and all of our documents have to be stored on the computer network "common drive", and not on our hard drives. BS I say, I have 16 stand alones and one net machine I get by back dooring the net to begin with because Elroy will not put me on the network because i frighten him or some bologna to that effect. Never threatened him but by doing good work, and fixing others computer issues in our building, to which I was promptly told "don't do that", so i don't. I was also told to put my docs on the common drive, which I can't do anyway, so I just plug away....... I maintain my computers, run my computers wih no interferrence, and maintain a lab that two other classes have to use on a regular basis because their computers - brand new last spring...they never work!!!!! AND the teacher can't fix them bcause she does not have the password or "authorization" (a 30 yr vet of the teaching wars who taught networking and network assembly, amd ran her lab for 25 years from old trash whatevers and apple IIE's to now is not worthy?????)

For all of this, no wonder our kids think we are inept, and the parents think we can't tach computers....YET, they WILLINGLY pay some goofball about twice my salary to keep us stupid.........

Rant sort of off.....My machines are still broken, my thumb drive is shot, and my beer is empty.

[This message has been edited by spope14 (edited 01-07-2005).]

01-07-2005, 09:42 PM
Ooooooooh yea. I remember the geek types. Back when I was "office bound", we had techies that insisted on keeping admin passwords tightfisted. After I introduced them to their replacements and reassigned them to the wire pulling crew, the problem went away.

01-07-2005, 11:01 PM
No phone in the shop ... unthinkable http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif I can't imagine a shop not having a phone for emergency use. There's no way I would depend on wireless service for any critical mission (unless there were no other options). Batteries, failure, re-routings, dead spots, storm damage, are an invitation to disaster.

On passwords and a-hole admins, you could run a bootable partition manager, create a new partition for yourself and have at it with a fresh install where you are KING http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif Where I work, this would cost one their job but what the heck. I think there's a Tom Petty song that goes "it's good to be king, just for a while".


[This message has been edited by nheng (edited 01-07-2005).]

01-07-2005, 11:56 PM

If you want I can send you a Linux progam to erase the password lists. This one only works on Windows. Boots off a floppy or CD-R or DVD-R - very small program. I can email it to you if you like, but if you use it you will have to write down the geeks passwords so you can rewrite them after you are done "fixing" things (turn off system restore while you are at it and delete the log entries - cover your tracks - use Crap Cleaner).

[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 01-07-2005).]

01-08-2005, 12:38 AM
I feel your pain. I had a day where everything I did turned to $#!@ The buzz words at our school and many others in the area are: "How are you integrating technology into your curriculum?" My answer to that is do you mean how do I use computers or how do I use all technology in my classroom? We have a technology coordinator at our school who is in charge of this. He sets up seminars for staff to use programs like MS Word, publisher, and some other cute programs that most fourth graders can figure out in a few minutes of sitting in front of the computer screen. Adults have a harder time with it. When surveys come out asking us what computer...sorry "technology" classes we would like his staff to teach us I put things down like EdgeCam MasterCam Inventor, C++, Circuit Maker,RoboCell, Pro-E, and others. The answer is always the same. We don't have anyone that knows those. So I'm left to learn them on my own most of the time or network with other teachers. Meanwhile when I requested to be hired as one of the trainers so I could be paid to teach other staff, there are no openings...sorry. I am frequently called upon by other staff to solve their computer problems which I do willingly, but when I have problems I'm left to struggle through them myself. It is a rare occasion that I can ask any of the computer staff a question and get a quick answer. It is usually I'll get back to you, and in the mean time I've grown impatient waiting on them and figured it out myself.

Meanwhile our classes are still thought of as a lower level of learning by other teachers. Hey, if you get a chance, could one of your kids build a shelf for my room? If you're not doing anything in class today, I have a chair that needs fixing. Yes we are doing something today. In DE my kids review Boolean algebra simplifications and Karnough mapping. My CIM students were editing G&M code and running projects on the CNC mill, and my Engineering design students were continuing on design proposal for a project that will take half the school year to complete. We are always doing something. Sometimes so many things my head is spinning. Hands on classes such as ours do not mean brains are off. What we teach in technology classes is changing all the time. Can math, science and English teachers say thier core content has significantly change in their teaching carreers? Yes, the state makes curriculum changes but they still haven't changed A squared plus B squared = C squared or F=MA...

On a happier note, just before Christmas break, two of my former students came to visit me, and a third e-mailed me. All three are freshman in college. One student completed his first semester with a 4.0 at RIT in the engineering department, said he thought college was easier than HS in a lot of ways, second one is at Boston University and had near a 4.0, and was told to take a semester break on his engineering classes and do his electives, because his Highschool classes put him ahead of everyone. He also found time to participate in crew. Third one is at Rhode Island School of Design studying industrial design and doing great. She got a substantial scholarship to go there. Yes, I have kids at tech schools and community college too. One who graduated 4 years ago stopped in to say hello and update me on his life. One of those kids I had to force feed to get him to do things in class, but has learned to appreciate it. He seems to have his life together and is in school again.

I kid with many of my students about the fact that they are way smarter than I am (and they are) but I have one thing that they don't have yet. I am patient and persistant. Give me enough time on task, and there are very few things that I can't eventualy figure out.

Rant over, I really do love my job, and I wouldn't do anything else. As this is my third career, I will be having my students push me around in a wheel chair with the IV bag side car by the time I can retire from teaching.

Good luck Spope, hope things go better.

01-08-2005, 02:57 AM
Passwords? HAH! Like Dave said, there is a bitty little program you can boot from that allows changing the admin password when you like. Better yet, boot from Knoppix. It will read all the file systems and doesn't give a hoot about passwords. You can suck the registry out into a text file (BIG) and then edit at will. Does take a bit of practice and a few tools.

BTW, if you need a few tips on how to deal with the PFY (Pimply Faced Youth) then you need to read up on this:


01-08-2005, 09:39 AM
E-mail he program!!!!!! Write first, I will give my school e-mail link as i am on dial up at homne, and larder files take about one hour of phone time - which irritates daughter who is 14, boy crazy, and thinks we intrude on her phone rights every time we use the phone for more than 30 seconds in "prime time" - which is between 8:a.m. to 8:00 p.m.. I do get ugly when her friends call after 8:00, and at 9:00 I get a bit more irritated, and when one calls at 10:00, I get downright mean and bastardly. Had one call at 12;00 a.m. two weeks ago during her vacation fom school, I called the parents right back at 12:02.

Technology...seems education thinks that if ou have a computer turned on in your classoom, the monitor all shiney wih "Windows XP" screen savers running about and making cool designs, you are integrating technology. At our staff meetings, when technology is bought up, I am a KING of the hill, for I have 17 computers in my shop - never mind they are a bit out of date. Actually 20 working right now.

If you can do powerpoint - which I hate for most applications (most people do not use it right), you are walking on water......

BUT, I have the admin and tech goon "define" technology. Usually in open meetings. I always set this up. I then pull ceramic inserts fom my pocket, tin coated inserts, a F1 ceramic prototype pison, a neat lovejoy cutter - 1/4 insert ball cutter, and some metal such as 17-4 PH, Incolnel, tungsten, and hasteloy and titanium fom my little briefcase, then a 75 page CNC program out, and a couple of helicopter rotor links, and a titanium hip replacement joint, and say "This is technology", using all of it to make things, and knowing how to adapt, improvise, and overcome. In all ways, it is not just computers and cool software.

In my own way, I have put the term "technology" on its ear in our district. The superintendent, who is on my advisory board, knows what I am talking about. She is great.

But for the most part, i don't need this to impress, I have great screen savers, an a slide show of masterCam samples to get the general populus to go "ohh and ah"......

01-08-2005, 12:11 PM
No need to e-mail it, you can download it here:


Another one here:


The next one is a Linux shell. You need to be able to make a bootable cd and know a bit of Linux but it is the most flexible.


So, another Microsoft joke revealed. Secure passwords my ass.

01-08-2005, 12:56 PM
Spope and Matt, You two guys have it incredibly nice, Spope from the picture you showed of your shop, and Matt from the tour you gave me, your made.
Let me tell you story about my favorite Tech Teacher in High School, the fued between him and the principal, and what they did to totally screw him over.
Many years ago my teacher was going to be fired and the school was going to get rid of auto shop. The town still filled with down to earth people before the Yuppie influx from the City, fought the school, cried bloody murder, and my teacher was reinstated to teach and autoshop was kept alive. Few months later, there was a banquet where the Principal had a seat at the head like he was the king. My tech teacher wanting to be a jackass to the principal, took his chair and sat there the entire night.
The two hated each others guts. Now lets fast forward to my senior year in Highschool, 1999. The corrupt son of the bitch principal was retiring, this would be his last year. One of the new Tech Teachers quit the year before, so the principal hired a complete baffoon, which no students respected, and quite honestly really is a flaming idiot. Principle set it up so this teacher would have to work side by side with my tech teacher, and even use his auto shop. My tech teacher would disclose to me first hand the politics of the school and being a teacher, probably more than any teacher should of told a student. He was convinced this troll was placed there to personally give him hell, which he did.
The principal wasn't done yet, his final job would be to find a replacement. Yep, this son of a bitch sought out a replacement that was flamingly anti tech, pro thesbian theater going yuppie. He hired this woman principle that got rid of the electronics shop, and the auto shop, and combined it with the woodshop to make one giant Scenery design set for theater!!!!!!! The town now filled with rich yuppies hardly batted an eye, and still to this day vote yes on school budget increases, since we moved out of that town in 2002, our taxes would have doubled!
My teacher is now teaching computer graphics classes on macin**** computers.

Did I mention before the auto shop had full setup for welding of all types, sand casting, furnace, Bridgeport mills, some nice engine lathes, Complete set of high quality snap on tools, car lifts, and all the sheetmetal machines, and brake lathes you could ever want? That son of bitch Principal, such an important decision, made it to get back at my teacher, not for what was best for the students.
So spope, although you had a bad day, you should be happy that it had to do with metal working.

[This message has been edited by BillH (edited 01-08-2005).]

01-08-2005, 01:10 PM
I had to look back on the calendar, Yep, we shared the same Karma on the same day. Must've been the moon or mars, or?.

I am not going into it thou. It cost me, but not near what your day did. Then last night I was doing something with the lil Rutex servo that the instructions say not to do.. yep.. A football or hockeypuck now instead of a drive. I bounced it off the wall. I am not as happy go lucky as you sound. It was "my" fault but that does not help matters. I could stand in the mirror and kick my own butt.

I'd love to have a cnc lathe with dead controls. I have been bidding on them. I am bucks down now. Maybe next month. I got things to ebay.


I don't remember who turned me onto Knoppix but I love it. I gave away a copy to a guy at TVA and he boots into the mainframe server and makes the tech's crazy. He can surf where they don't want him to, etc. When you turn it off, no cookies remain. Runs off a cdrom exclusively. I tell visitors here, if you are going to SURF porn, lemme boot Knoppix. Not that I have never saw a nekkid woman, but years of tattooing just removed most the fun, looks like a lot of work to me. Unless they have that twinkle in thier eye.

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 01-08-2005).]

01-09-2005, 02:51 PM
Bill, Thank you imensely. I come here to blow off steam, and sometimes to get my fanny kicked back into the right frame of mind - attitude adjustment. I am very fortunate indeed. I have great support from the superintendent to the school board to the voc. director to the town folk. I have a shop I designed and tooled my self but for two machine exceptions. I even had 'pick of the litter" from the machines we had in the old shop.

I have such a great time in my shop, and have it so rigged there, I get un-nerved by the smaller stuff some days. One of my little idiosyncracies is if one piece of gear is not running right, or somebody wants to horn in un necessarily into what i do, I focus too much on that.

However, on Monday, I will return to the job, and be happy with what I have, and the opportuniyties and support I have, this would be true regardless of my laments (also known as bitching quite loudly). Yes, all said and done I do have it made, and yes, though this is the case, i can still see me going before the school board wearing sackcloth with ashes poured upon my head asking for about 5800 in emergency funding - which I will get probably in two pieces.

The trick is justifying what you need, being completely honest and doing your homework, and showing responsibility and results. The taxpayers tend to understand this over much of the other stuff.